How do I choose a weighlifting bar?

From Bar Review

We get questions every day asking about how to choose a bar or your bar prices are a bit higher than other vendors.  Pictured above from left to right: B&R Bar, Rogue Bar, York NA Bar,  , Pendlay Men’s Econ Bar, PowerMax 700LB Bar & PowerMax 28MM Bar

Here is the skinny, the most simplistic review of bars on earth:

1.0 Collar Design

From this picture alone you can tell what kind of quality you are looking at:

1) The Rogue Bar along with all Pendlay bars are made with snap ring construction.  This means that a snap ring hold the collar to the 7′ piece of steel that runs down the center

2) The two York bars have two pieces to the collar, the cap on the end has hole that is pinned to the 7′ bar that runs through it

3) The PowerMax bars have a bolt that goes into the end to hold the collar to the 7′ steel shaft, most of them then have a cotter pin to hold the bolt in place

In short the York and Pendlay versions are solid and I have yet to replace any of the bars for the collar construction.  Some complain of the end cap on the York wobbling a bit but it has yet to turn into an issue.

Any bar that is built with a bolt in the end is a filler bar, I hope they are not insulted.  This means that it is not a great bar but it will do in a pinch.  Some refer to them as beater bars.  Anything with a 700LB test or 1000LB test is a filler bar, this rating means jack.  It is a static load test but you are going to put a dynamic load on the bar so that goes out the window.

2.0 Bar Steel Specs

From Bar Review

We have had a few of these bars destructive tested to see what the strength was and the B&R bar comes in at 205K PSI.   The Rogue bar is at 155K PSI and the Pendlay Econ is down in the 125 range.  What does this mean?

The Rogue bar that is guaranteed for life is not as strong as the B&R bar.  Both are wicked strong bars as is the Sorinex All Terrain bar that is around 150K psi tensile strength.  The best test is which of these bars are bent?  The only two that are not bent are the Rogue and B&R bars.  The PowerMax 700LB bar is a banana and the Men’s Econ bar is bent pretty badly.  The 28MM bar and the York NA bar are bent but not that bad. We use and abuse the bars in our gym 3-4 times/day, we are not kind to bars.

When we build quotes to outfit facilities we never quote anything except for bars that will endure the punishment in the pipeline.  If it doesn’t hold up in our gym then it won’t hold up in yours.  As you can see we have purchased these bars in our facility for the same reasons you are considering a $125 bar, we were on a budget.  Now that I look back on it I would have rather purchased bars that don’t bend.   We have the ability to sell bars for $90 but they bend and they may weigh 37lbs.  The bar with the yellow band on it comes in at 37lbs, who knew.

3.0 Knurling Specs & 4.0 Bar Diameter to follow…….stay tuned

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